General Motors: on the Buffett table

Automaker would be a perfect fit for Berkshire Hathaway

Melrose: in the right place

Industrial group will be looking to buy more after selling Elster at profit

Zurich / RSA: just looking

The scent of cost savings could prompt a summer insurance wrangle

ITV: channel hopping

ITV’s share price has jumped — it’s time to switch over

China: unintended consequences

Shares have fallen again. They were not supposed to

Pharma M&A: portfolio theory

Even after a $40bn deal, the pharma sector remains unsettled

Ryanair: fuel tanks

Hedging fuel costs can hurt when the oil price falls

Anthem/Cigna/Aetna/Humana: Health risk

Antitrust worries and management incentives

Gome: turning to an insider

Beefed up distribution might help white goods purveyor compete

UBS: costs and benefits

Swiss bank shows why its shares enjoy a premium rating, but costs are a concern

  • No, Amazon is not more “valuable” than Wal-Mart

    Here are some breathless headlines from various news outlets on Thursday night:

  • Apple: set your Watches for January

    The market seems to have moved from last night’s unseemly panic to a state of resigned disappointment. Apples’s shares were briefly down 8 per cent in the late trading Tuesday, after it released its June quarter earnings report. On Wednesday afternoon the shares closed down just 4 per cent.

  • Swatch: from bulls to bearers (and back)

    Swatch's bearer shares once traded at an 18 per cent premium to its registered shares. Having fallen for two years, the premium may be about to widen again

  • Lipstick on the collar

    We’ve talked about equity collars before in stock-for-stock M&A transactions. The idea is that the selling shareholders who are worried about downwards movements in the stock price of the acquiror, get an upward adjustment in the exchange ratio if the acquiror’s stock price falls. Such collars are typically symmetrical so if the acquiror’s stock price rises, the exchange ratio is then adjusted downward.

    The Coty/P&G Beauty brands combination from last week provides a rare example of a collar on debt. Coty is combining with the P&G businesses in a so-called Reverse Morris Trust. P&G will separate the unit and then combine it with Coty so that P&G shareholders will own 52 per cent of the new Coty. That proportion is crucial. Because P&G shareholders maintain control, the transaction is tax-free at the corporate and shareholder level.